The aim of the study was to evaluate the levels of physical activity in individuals with primary Sjögren's syndrome (PSS) and its relationship to the clinical features of PSS. To this cross-sectional study, self-reported levels of physical activity from 273 PSS patients were measured using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire-short form (IPAQ-SF) and were compared with healthy controls matched for age, sex and body mass index. Fatigue and other clinical aspects of PSS including disease status, dryness, daytime sleepiness, dysautonomia, anxiety and depression were assessed using validated tools. Individuals with PSS had significantly reduced levels of physical activity [median (interquartile range, IQR) 1572 (594-3158) versus 3708 (1732-8255) metabolic equivalent of task (MET) × min/week, p < 0.001], but similar levels of sedentary activity [median (IQR) min 300 (135-375) versus 343 (223-433) (MET) × min/week, p = 0.532] compared to healthy individuals. Differences in physical activity between PSS and controls increased at moderate [median (IQR) 0 (0-480) versus 1560 (570-3900) MET × min/week, p < 0.001] and vigorous intensities [median (IQR) 0 (0-480) versus 480 (0-1920) MET × min/week, p < 0.001]. Correlation analysis revealed a significant association between physical activity and fatigue, orthostatic intolerance, depressive symptoms and quality of life. Sedentary activity did not correlate with fatigue. Stepwise linear regression analysis identified symptoms of depression and daytime sleepiness as independent predictors of levels of physical activity. Physical activity is reduced in people with PSS and is associated with symptoms of depression and daytime sleepiness. Sedentary activity is not increased in PSS. Clinical care teams should explore the clinical utility of targeting low levels of physical activity in PSS.
Keywords: Fatigue; Patient registry; Patient-reported outcomes; Physical activity; Primary Sjögren’s syndrome.